Masha Ivashintsova was a Russian artist and later a theater critic that lived from 1942 to 2000 in Russia. She was heavily engaged in the Leningrad poetic and photography underground movement of the 1960−80s. Masha loved photography as it always took a major role in her mysterious and sometimes painful life. Her incredible work managed to capture the essence of Russia’s everyday life at the end of the XXth century.

Masha Ivashintsova lived from 1942 to 2000 in Russia. She was an artist, a theatre critic and she also took pictures almost everyday day of her life

She was heavily engaged in the Leningrad poetic and photography underground movement of the 1960−80s

Her work captures the essence of living in Russia at the end of the XXth century as it also reveals a heartbreaking story of her mysterious life

Her daughter Asya Ivashintsova-Melkumyan found more than 30,000 photos in her mother’s attic after she passed away, and even though she knew her mother took pictures every single day, she was truly surprised by the beauty of her work

Asya developed her work and commented on them herself or by adding fragments from her mother’s diary this way revealing more about Masha’s unique story

‘Masha was often taking photographs of children. I think she also saw children in adults and was deeply interested in the peoples’ childish roots. I love this picture — a little Soviet engineer in a fashionable Soviet French-like overall.’

The darkest period in Masha’s life is when she was sent to the USSR’S mental hospital where she was gradually broken by forcing her to take drugs prescribed to mental health patients

As her daughter says ‘Masha had a difficult relationship with communism.  She could never assimilate to the all-encompassing, shouting world of socialist excitement’

After a hard battle with cancer, Masha has passed away at the age of 58 in 2000 in her daughter’s Asya’s hands

After Asya found her mother’s work she decided to create a website where she revealed Masha’s outstanding talent

As Asya says herself, ‘I see my mother as a genius, but she never saw herself as one — and never let anybody else see her for what she really was’

‘We hope that works of Masha and her story will echo in the souls of many’

Leave a Reply